Romance of the three kingdoms is a book, not really part of Asian mythology.

Then again, it does have some mythology context in it.

So is it on topic?

  • 1
    I don't see why the mythology in the book would be off topic. Do you have a specific question in mind?
    – yannis Mod
    Aug 11 '16 at 11:41
  • The awesome yet maybe off-topic question Congusbongus asked.
    – bleh
    Aug 11 '16 at 13:39
  • 1
    That question really doesn't seem like anything to do with mythology. I mean, some elements of the RoTK like Zhuge's mystic antics are quite mythology related, but the historical fictional path of a general's journey, not so much.
    – Semaphore Mod
    Aug 11 '16 at 20:04
  • 2
    A well-known legend of the prominent culture hero Guan Yu (deified as the Taoist God of War), is off-topic? Just not sure I agree with that logic.
    – femtoRgon
    Aug 15 '16 at 16:30
  • 2
    I think Congusbongus question really does concern mythology. The origin of place names and such is a factor in Western Mythology, thus geography. Here we're talking about a mythological route, and it would be analogous to, say, Theseus or Jason's journeys.
    – DukeZhou
    Aug 25 '16 at 20:45

I don't really know much about that specific story, but in general we've been pretty relaxed about our scope. We allow questions about folklore, as well as questions about things that aren't really religions (eg Symbolism of the "Temple of the Rose Cross").

Part of this is that we as a site haven't actually defined what "mythology" actually means. I would be curious if the people who are claiming that the question isn't related to mythology have a coherent, consistent definition of the word mythology that can be used to claim questions are off topic.

Ultimately, I don't think the question is causing any problems. I personally think that the question is on topic. If people disagree on the second point, then they should explain why, in a way that doesn't require people to guess their personal definition of the word mythology. Otherwise your just being unfair to new users: it's unfair to close questions because they don't meet a criteria that wasn't ever explained in the first place.

As many other people have said in past meta discussions, it's ok if we have a vague scope as a site, as we seem to be in general agreement as to what the site is about. The downside of this is that we have to be very relaxed about closing questions as off topic, since we don't have very many clear policies to base these decisions on. We could reconsider this policy, although I personally think there are more productive things we could be doing with out time to improve the site.


The Chinese conception of Mythology and History were pretty well co-mingled until fairly recently. Romance was written much later than the events it recounts, which are quite ancient. Certainly these stories came from the oral tradition and more obscure texts.

Another point I would make is that the mythology of Three Kingdoms is probably more deeply entrenched in Chinese culture than Homer in the West, although that is obviously an assumption. Howeverm it seems to be portrayed, adapted, and referenced much, much more than Homer or Virgil in a contemporary context.

Guan Yu is an example of a god derived from that cycle, and is still worshiped today.

I would say it is absolutely central to Chinese Mythology.


Another way to look at it would be "Is Journey to the West" appropriate subject matter?

Although slightly later than Three Kingdoms in terms of finding its way into print, I suspect the answer would be a resounding yes.

Perhaps the fairy tales recorded by the Grimm's would be a good referent. Relatively late in the canon of mythology, but hugely influential.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .